NEW DELHI, INDIA - Kia is getting ready to pull the covers off a new compact SUV that will slot beneath the Seltos and go head-to-head with the Ford EcoSport, Opel Crossland X and Renault Captur.

The official design sketches that you see here preview the concept version of this new crossover, which will make its global debut at the Delhi Auto Expo in early February. The production variant, which is expected to be called the Sonet, is set to go into production in the second half of this year, Indianautosblog reports.

The Kia SUV will be a twin of the Hyundai Venue that was recently launched in South Africa, boasting similar dimensions and mechanicals. But as the sketches imply, the Sonet will have completely unique styling that partially resembles the Sorento up front and the Sportage at the back.

The newcomer is expected to share its chassis and engines with the Venue, with the mainstay of the range being Hyundai’s 1-litre, three-cylinder turbopetrol unit, which produces 88kW and 172Nm. Gearbox options are likely to include six-speed manual and seven-speed DTC dual clutch units, in both cases driving the front wheels only. A 1.2-litre normally aspirated petrol and 1.5-litre turbodiesel are also likely to be offered in the Indian market.

Kia South Africa says it’s too soon to confirm whether the new compact SUV is destined for our shores, but we’d certainly be surprised if it wasn’t in the pipeline.

For now though, we will look forward to seeing the concept version in early February. "With its modern, dynamic and bold design, this concept will be a testimony of Kia’s focus on consumer-insight driven product innovation and orientation," Kia's Indian division said.

"This bold concept along with its head-turning looks, dimensions, and features will embody Kia's ‘Power to Surprise’ slogan in India."

IOL Motoring